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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Facebook Fowl Lips Are Foul

I love Facebook photos of beautiful women. Men are born to admire the feminine face. What's not to like? Attractive eyes, cheeks, hair, symmetry par excellence... and, of course, those comely lips combine to capture every male heart.

Speaking of pleasing lips, I feel I must take a few words to express my absolute distaste for something I see time and time again on Facebook -- duck lips.  

The recent trend of duck-lipped photos can be attributed to the emergence of social networking profiles. People create profiles including biographical information and photographs of themselves, many of which exhibit the facial expression that eventually became known as the “duck face.” It has become a staple of social networks.

The female version of the expression of "duck face" began as a combination of pouty eyes and pursed lips. On September 13th, an Urban Dictionary definition for “duck face” was submitted by user Mair Mair, which defined the mannerism as "a two-lipped pout."

Why would a woman post a photo in which she sticks her lips out in a fashion that resembles a duck's beak?

First of all, I acknowledge that the fad may be exhibited just for fun. Girls, especially teens, consider a selfie exhibiting their duck lips to be a mocking pose and a stab at stereotypical images of beauty. I understand the need for fun and for silly photos. Please note I love to laugh even though I am officially in the geezer years.

In addition, Sarah Miller of The New York Times relates the historical reality of using the lips for a potentially sexy pout:

"The self-conscious sexiness of an exaggerated pout is a fashion standby. Simon Doonan of Barneys cited the infantile moue (grimace) of the ’60s and Blue Steel glint of the ’90s and added, “Models have always made exaggerated facial grimaces of one sort or another.” 

(Sarah Miller. "Duck Hunting on the Internet." The New York Times. May 25, 2011) 
 Twiggy's famous moue.

Blue Steel Glinting

Yet, I am sure many who post photos of their duck lips have unfashionable reasons about the need for their swelled labium exposure. Here are a few ...

* Duck lips are meant to be sexually seductive as a sultry allure. The connected symbolism is evident, so I won't elaborate.

* Duck lips are meant to be the equivalent of a "kissy face" of affection.

* Duck lips are meant to cover imperfections such as imperfect teeth.

* Duck lips are a signal that "I'm intoxicated and open for playtime."

* Duck lips are a euphemism for certain sucking behaviors.

Whatever the reason for women choosing to pose with duck lips, I believe the pouty fad is a horrible imitation for lip augmentation. Duck-lip photos look so unnatural, and they usually reek of fake self-promotion. Let's face it, so many are just plain ugly.

I am just one person; however, I wish the waterfowl quackery would just disappear. Ending the extensive use of the lippy photos is not imperative to building essential character by any means. If it continues to populate Facebook, I will look, laugh, and consider motives. The right to pucker her duck lips must remain a woman's prerogative.

A couple of views I maintain may help explain my particular displeasure. Making a duck face can be a message to men that a woman is too insecure to smile or that she is a vain and thus feels the need to improve her looks. Women are beautiful, natural subjects for Facebook photographs. Why add some quirky, unnatural pose if the purpose of posting a picture is to reflect authentic, attractive attributes?

I'm not alone in my anti-duck lips campaign. Sarah Millers reports Christian Rudder, 35, a founder of the dating site OkCupid, was so appalled by the amount of duckface on the site that he conducted a study to see which expressions best attracted prospective dates. He found that smiling drew more responses than duckfacing.

“Unfortunately,” Rudder said, “it’s just the pose (duck lips) people strike when they take their own picture because they think it makes them look hot.”

(Sarah Miller. "Duck Hunting on the Internet." The New York Times. May 25, 2011) 

To end this little diatribe, I will let a youtube video have the last word.
“Take your lips and put them back to normal,” croons John Gamble, 28, of Easthampton, Massachusetts, in a song he wrote after his fiancée complained she was “sick of girls making duckface.” This video of him performing the tune has been viewed by an estimated three million people. 

WARNING: This video by John Gamble contains expletives repeated time and again in the lyrics of the song. Please, don't view it if such language offends you. I am not trying to cheapen my post with Gamble's composition. In this case, the right to freedom of speech seems warranted. Here is the link to the video: 

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